Anonymous
Two years ago

Luke Jackson picks AFL over Basketball

https://www.foxsports.com.au/basketball/luke-jackson-a-projected-top-pick-in-the-2019-afl-draft-chooses-to-pursue-career-in-australian-rules-football-over-basketball/news-story/42cead164eb4320435001c42436ec5e0

One of Australia's best performing basketball juniors over the last 18 months has chosen to pursue AFL where he is viewed as a potential number 1 pick in the 2019 draft.

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FCF  
Two years ago

It's a shame to loose an aussie prospect, but sounds like he's made the decision that will lead to his personal best outcome.

Always easier for basketball talent to go the AFL route than vice-versa.

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Hogwash  
Two years ago

Best of luck to him it wouldn't be an easy choice to make.

Reply #697862 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

This sucks. I can understand why because unless he puts on a couple more inches, he's an undersized PF at the elite level. But his motor is something else and he could have been a Boomer favourite even if he never played in the NBA.

Reply #697863 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

^^^ which is exactly the reason he should go to AFL, (plus $$$ way more if you make it as a key big man in AFL where they are paying over $1m a season)

Reply #697864 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

His loss.

Way more money in basketball and it's global. vs. a sport that is only popular in half of Aus.

Reply #697869 | Report this post


Cram  
Two years ago

Yeah it sounds like he's made the right decision for himself. Has the chance to be a really special AFL player and stay close to family while making a great living.

As a basketball fan its a bit disappointing, but wish him the best of luck.

Reply #697870 | Report this post


Rook  
Two years ago

Granted I may be being cynical here, but I don't get this comment/way of thinking:

"I wanted to keep my final decision open until I'd played at Worlds," Jackson told foxsports.com.au.

Why did he need to have played at Worlds to make that decision?...surely he and his parents had a fairly good idea of how he was leaning before the event.

It's great that he's a multi-sport elite athlete, and I do wish him the very best with his AFL choice.
But these decisions I've observed by young athletes (and their parents) who have been given opportunities ahead of others to then jump ship make me wonder a lot about the process.

That's an opportunity of representing Australia at Worlds that could otherwise have gone to someone else who only has basketball in their mindset/goals.

An opportunity at last week's NBA Global Academy & BA prospects that could have gone to someone who is definite on pursuing say a college scholarship and/or beyond in the sport of basketball.

I know it will be a difficult aspect to manage, but I think short term and long term plans of all elite athletes should become of the BA and State pathways.

Yes you can change your mind about something. But as mentioned above, these were opportunities another basketball athlete could have been giving who was determined to try and go as far as they could in the sport.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Only tough part about the decision (based on what I've read - had barely heard of him before today) would be the lack of international options for Aussie Rules (I don't count those Gaelic football matchups). If you aren't a top flight basketball prospect and have AFL teams looking at you, the smart move $$$-wise is AFL, no question.

Reply #697877 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Best choice for him.
At only 6'6-6'7, he would have struggled in the post at the next level.

He will be great in the ruck, a high afl draft pick and willl earn much more than he would playing nbl or some lower level league.

Reply #697878 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Assuming he makes it.

Reply #697880 | Report this post


Cram  
Two years ago

Rook, he earned the right to play at Worlds and the academy games. He earned the right to make his decision on his terms.

Reply #697881 | Report this post


Hogwash  
Two years ago

Its a bit salty to say his loss, more like his choice.

Not everything is about money.

His departure from basketball gives opportunity to another 17/18 yo kid.

Reply #697884 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

The funny thing is it seems to be about money, even for young kids nowadays, because the AFL is easier to get into and in your own backyard, but what these athletes don't realise is AFL being local may be easier to get into but severely caps your earning potential whereas with basketball the ceiling is way higher.

Reply #697887 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

^^^ so if its about money then then why did he pick AFL?

Reply #697889 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Learn to read.

Reply #697892 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

^^Picked AFL for the money

NBA or Europe money isn't easy to make as a 6'7 PF

Reply #697894 | Report this post


HPHN  
Two years ago

Smart move by the kid. More upside in footy for him.

Rook raises good points. Coaches need to get to know the kid and understand what makes them tick, where they will go. I doubt most have time or capabilities to do this.

Reply #697896 | Report this post


Rook  
Two years ago

Cram, I do not disagee with any of your 3 points.

But I'm looking at it more from the perspective of those kids who are 100% committed to basketball at that elite or prospects level but miss out because of the athletes that pip them to those spots (Hopefully for the right reasons), but aren't 100% committed to basketball. Just fortunate enough to be multi-sport elite athletes.

I know it's very idealistic thinking on my part, but at these levels, opportunities aren't a dime a dozen (especially if they're age based opportunities)...So just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

Reply #697905 | Report this post


Cram  
Two years ago

He is not "fortunate" to be a multi sport athlete. He's someone who's worked hard and earned the right to make his own decisions.

Reply #697908 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Rook, pretty sure Basketball Australia knew he had AFL ambitions (given he played in the AFL 18s Australian carnival) and even if he told them he was leaning that way they would still have given him every opportunity to go to worlds and camps etc. in the hope that he would swing back to basketball after those experiences and opportunities. If BA said, we are not picking him because he may choose footy instead, I think they would be questioned as to why they didn't do everything they could to keep him in basketball.!

He was probably the best performed player for Australia in his age group, so its not like he was last picked for the team of 10 worlds or 50 at camps and "piped" someone out. If he was last in then I agree with you in an ideal world, but he was probably first picked.

Reply #697910 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

You are right, it is idealistic thinking. This happens at all levels, not just elite, kids play multiple sports all the time, at some point they make choices to focus on one over an another (both boys and girls), which then presents an opportunity for someone else to try and grab....no different here, just more visible to people who follow the sport.

BTW - you don't get to play at these levels without being 100% committed, even if you do excel at multiple sports!

If you were selecting the team for Worlds, knowing that a player MAY not continue playing the sport, but who will clearly enhance your chances of success significantly..... what are you going to do?? Idealistically select the next guy??

As for those that miss out....hopefully anyone who misses out is spurred on to work harder and be better the next time an opportunity arises....there are always kids who didn't represent at junior level but are successful later on for a variety of reasons.

Reply #697911 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Didn't make the u18 Asian champs team. Might have made his decision pretty quick after WC.
Only Wigness from that u17 group made it into the u18 squad.
Bowen, Leaupepe, Kunen look Be the players in his position for u18s.

Reply #697912 | Report this post


proud  
Two years ago

I think it's a very ballsy move to choose AFL, I mean let's say he goes #1 pick and ends up at a big club like Carlton and doesn't live up to expectation as a ruckman, he could be 21/22 and give up on footy due to the scrutiny and still have time to play in the NBL and carve out a solid European career if he really is that good... only time will tell

Reply #697916 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Seems to me no one has told these kids that everyone in the NBL is on $400 kay these days.

Reply #697917 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

How good of a basketballer was he? Projected NBL star?

Reply #697919 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Not very good. Very good junior. Perfectly suited for footy.

Reply #697920 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

I kinda wanted him to pick basketball just to see how far he could actually go with it, but i think footy is the smart choice. A little undersized in his position for the next level. Shaping as a gun AFL prospect with comparisons to Nic Nat, and big key Rucks/forwards are in high demand. Lots of tall spuds still get good money and the stars get a big pay day.

If for some reason he didn't make it as a footy player, he could always come back to the NBL around 22-24 and have a solid career. With his style of play and attributes i think he could pick up basketball again relatively easily.

Reply #697923 | Report this post


AD  
Two years ago

Rook,
I understand what you're saying, its somewhat selfish, but such is the way of the world. As the elite athlete, he gets all the choices. He has the opportunity to delay his choice until "the last minute" and lesser athletes have to wait in the wings.

Something I have observed, both as parent, and a follower of sports, is that many young guys around this age are somewhat impatient. Not a criticism, just an observation. Guys who were offered the opportunity to get into AFL a year early (when CG and GWS joined) leapt at the chance, rather than wait for the draft.

Partially, I think that Basketball has itself to blame.
It has become the "accepted" pathway, that if you are halfway decent, you try to get a US college scholarship. Some are far too desperate for this opportunity, they end up either having to spend time at a US high-school, or Junior College, or some redshirt, get a degree in "general studies" and return home broke at 22~24. If such a kid had a shot at being drafted to AFL at 18, he'd be mad not to take it.

I don't know what the alternative is to the college period, and I'm not saying its not a great experience, but if a players is actually good enough to have a choice between 4 years at college, and 4 years in the AFL, then for most its a no brainer.

As others have mentioned, its also about size.
Speed, endurance, and coordination are far more important in the AFL. 195cm is still considered Tall in AFL and would likely see you play as a Key Position Player. Guys under 180cm can still get a gig.

Reply #697927 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

I think he genuinely hadn't made up his mind until after worlds. May have been leaning towards AFL, but he loves basketball and probably wanted to see how he went on the world stage and what scouts were saying about him before making his final decision. Probably felt like he owed it to the team too to finish what they started after playing a key role over the last year. He was fully committed to playing too, he missed out on a handful of u18 state games and missed a lot of colts games because of basketball. As arguably the best performing Aussie i don't think you can say someone else should have played, and I'm sure the coaches wanted him playing.

Reply #697928 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Handful of AFL u18 state games*

Reply #697929 | Report this post


Rook  
Two years ago

Fair counters by most. Some smaller details that I hadn't considered. Doesn't necessarily change my overall though on this (As idealistic as it may be), but accept those points made.

And just to clarify about the fortunate and 100% comments.
I never said he hasn't put in the hard work. But a lot of kids (and adults) put in a lot of hard work to be better at their chosen sports. But very few would be fortunate enough to also have the genetic/physical traits (further developed by the hard work) to make you elite at one, let alone multiple sports.
And his hard work had to be 100% to achieve those levels and opportunities. My 100% point was about the commitment to a specific sport. I'm still not convinced HE needed to accept the ASIA roster spot and later Worlds spot to make his decision.

Anyway, I do wish him very well in the AFL, and do think he did very well at both 16U ASIA and 17U Worlds!

Reply #697930 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Isn't he only 16. Could grow taller.

Reply #697931 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

"Isn't he only 16. Could grow taller"

Could potentially but hard to say. I wonder if he's had scans on his growth plates to see how much they've closed. Possibly (probably?) has and that may have played a role in his decision

Reply #697932 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

AFL easier to get into because you aren't competing with the superior athletes of the US if you go college route and then want to play NBA/overseas.

Reply #697934 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

His height is the only measurement we have, though, and we don't know if it's 6'4" with lots of shoes or a genuine 6'6" that would probably be listed as 6'8" in the US. And if his wingspan is -3, that's a significant factor in pro potential.

Like #923, I was curious to see what he could make of hoops, given his junior dominance and the general translatability of rebounding numbers from one level to the next. I don't think he was going to the NBA but he could potentially have been an NBL All-Star and Boomer, IMO.

Reply #697946 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Seems basketball always loses out to footy in these instances. Have there been any scenarios where someone chose basketball over footy?

Reply #697947 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Patty Mills could have pursued an AFL career. I think AFL just seems to be the safer option for a lot of guys. Very hard to make it to the NBA/Top euro where the big bucks are. Could see more start to pick basketball one day in the future when the NBL grows more and has a bigger salary cap.

Reply #697948 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Moller left the afl to come back to basketball. He's taller than listed when you see photos plus has massive arm span.

Reply #697950 | Report this post


Cram  
Two years ago

I don't think its about what is easiest, I think guys just weigh up all of the factors.

Footy is the most popular sport in Australia, so for some, the love of the game is enough to tip the scales. When you've grown up around footy, with it being the biggest show in town, and you get a chance to be part of that, its gotta be hard to pass up.

Also, as was the case with Jackson, others have said the ability to play their whole career in Australia near family and friends is a big attraction.

Reply #697984 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Most teams play a majority of the season in Melbourne with a few trips to another city. So insular. And it is really a half-national game. Give me a global sport any day.

Reply #698011 | Report this post


Cram  
Two years ago

My preference is a global sport too, but not everyone feels that way.

And, in a country where the major sporting codes are divided heavily by geography, AFL is still by far the number 1.

NRL would be considered "favourite" sport among most people in NSW and QLD, but even there, AFL teams in Sydney and Brisbane average more people per game than NRL teams.

AFL might be considered "quaint" or "insular" compared to other world sports, but in most of Australia, it is a giant compared to everything else.

Reply #698024 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

If you liked both sports equally and scouts were projecting you to be a really high pick in one then it makes sense that you'd choose it. Plus more money available locally whereas hoops you might need to go overseas.

The global aspect of basketball is what makes it more exciting I think. Plus, if you wanted to think longer term, would the average career length in basketball be longer than footy?

Reply #698035 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Jackson could grow another 5/10 cm yet. The afl talk it up and promise a lot but don't deliver most times.

Reply #698039 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

Yes, basketball you can play longer. The nature of Aussie rules is that you are done earlier age wise.

Reply #698046 | Report this post




 

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